Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Absence

16, she counted on her fingers. 16 years had passed. 16 whole years. Her life had moved on. She had her own times, some good and some bad. She had her own memories, some that brought a smile on her face and some that brought tears in her eyes. And she had lived them all. Strong inside and beautiful outside, she tilted her head a little upwards and closed her eyes. A little tear that trickled down her face was soon lost as it got mixed with other drops that fell from the shower. Neeta froze under the shower. It wasn’t a good time to be reminded of something that always made her heart weep. But life has its own way of bringing back memories at times that may not be appropriate. And there she stood crying over something that could not be reversed.



******


She got down from the school bus. Usually, her mother came to pick her up from the bus stop. She didn’t understand why she had sent the servant today. But without a word, she let the servant hold her hand and walk her to the other side of the road where she lived. Winters had just got over and the sun was shining bright. It was a hot day and she wiped the beads of perspiration that formed above her lips. For an 8 year old girl, the 500 meters walk back home was definitely tiresome. But she kept walking. She could almost see her house now. A two storied bungalow stood in front of her. She did not understand what a residential colony meant but she knew that her house was different from her friends. She wasn’t allowed to go out to play. She had no friends in and around her house. The only difference she could make out was based on her father coming home for lunch every afternoon. She knew that her father’s office was on the ground floor, just below the floor she lived on. Little did she understand that her house was in a commercial area. There were no houses around. There were just buildings where people worked.
But today, it all looked so different. The shutter to her father’s office was down. She tried to remember what day it was. It was definitely not a Wednesday when her father had a weekly off. The otherwise crowded place with labourers running here and there was completely deserted today. With a question in her eyes, she turned to the servant, “Bhaiya, aaj papa ka office band kyun hai. Aaj Wednesday to nahi hai” 


Much to her annoyance, he remained silent.


*****


Neeta remembered the proceedings of the day quite well. She was a kid then, she did not understand what it meant to lose a sister. She did not grieve for a single moment. The people around her thanked the good old God for taking her away, for at last she was relieved of the pain. Born as a mentally retarded child, Neeta had always seen her sister on the bed lying like a lifeless creature. But today, after 16 years, Neeta understands what this loss was for her mother and her father. Deep inside, she wanted to see her little sister again. Today she understands how her life would have been different if her sister had been alive. Today, she understands the absence of a sister, the most beautiful girl ever born on this planet. Sadly, Neeta does not have any of her pictures except the ones which she has in her memory. Memory of a little girl lying on the bed who could not speak, who could not walk and but somehow understood every word that Neeta spoke. And today, she has an empty feeling inside for there isn’t any little sister who could hear her speak.




PS: This is a true story.

19 comments:

supriya said...

Y do i feel its incomplete?

Chanz said...

because it is incomplete..

Atul said...

hey! ... i am usually immune to 'sentimental' stuff, unless it is specific to my family (someone told me that i am 'cold person')... however this one 'story' made my heart skip few beats... i am not sure how to put it in words... lets say... u 'wrote' it well... :-)

Shalini said...

I know a family who went through the same thing...it was extremely sad..

Chanz said...

awwww atul. That was quite a big compliment... Sob sob... :(

Chanz said...

@ shalini : I know.. :(

Sakshi said...

Shook me up, stories about losing someone as close, usually do. And yes, this is incomplete. But sometimes, things left unsaid, say a lot more.

Nasra said...

Sad Indeed.. pretty touching..

Garry said...

this is one feeling that is very very difficult to oversome....I cud relate to the post.. a bit...

Chanz said...

@ Sakshi : :(

Chanz said...

@ Nasra : yeah.. It indeed is..

Chanz said...

@ garry : I wish nobody relates to this post

vandy said...

nice post but i too feel it's incomplete

Chanz said...

@ vandy : yeah.. it is..

starry said...

Very well written.

Chanz said...

@ Starry : Thank u

Shivani said...

This one really touched me. Especially how you described that "papa ka office band kyon hai" part.

Chandrika Shubham said...

Touching story. Emotions have been expressed so well.

Sidra Sayeed said...

Reading it I was thinking about the many realities that remain hidden to us until we know a little better.
It's the bliss in ignorance and the discomfiture at realizing that it wasn't bliss after all.